I am going to work through some visual assignments for Unit 5 and get up to a ranking of 10 stars!
The first one I attempted was a task called ‘Splash the Colour’. The aim is to take a photograph and highlight a colour that stands out and make the rest of the image black and white. I spent some time thinking about what photograph to use and remembered the photograph I took for the previous task of the blue door. I could have gone out and taken a new photograph but I think this one works perfectly. I was still using the same editing skills as I would have using a new photograph so I think this is acceptable and will work fine. I imported the photograph into Photoshop, and using the lasso tool, I carefully went around the outside of the whole door separating it from the rest of the photograph. I then inversed the selection and and went to ‘image’,’adjustments’, then ‘black and white’. This made the whole photograph apart from the door black and white whilst maintaining the door blue. I also adjusted the contrast to make the blue stand out even more to make the photograph even more aesthetically pleasing. I did really enjoy this task, it was definitely within my element and something I am very comfortable doing. I like using Photoshop and enjoy editing photographs on the program. Even though the task didn’t particularly challenge me, it just helped to improve my editing skills further and allowed me to put these into practice which I found really beneficial. This is something I enjoy about ds106 as well as learning new things. It’s also all about putting our creativity into practice even if we are already familiar with the skills we are using. I’m glad I used my previously taken photograph for this task as I think it works really well with the style of the editing applied.
As the Unit is all about photography, I do have some skill set in all the tasks provided but I chose a CD album cover visual assignment as I haven’t edited in this style before so I wanted to give it a shot. DS106 provide links that randomly pick aspects of the CD cover for you. For example, a wikipedia randomiser link is provided where the name of the article will be the name of the band, followed by a quotation link where the last 5 or so words of the quote will be the name of the album, and then a Flickr link where the third photograph on the page will be the album photograph. All of these together will make the album cover which I can freely edit as I please. The wikipedia link gave me an article on Jonathan Tabu, then the end of the quote consisted of the words ‘without that understanding, they will fail’, and then a photograph of a city was provided within the Flickr link. This was what I was given to make my CD cover. I cropped the photograph in Photoshop to make it square to stick with the style of a CD album. I then chose some text that I thought complimented the photograph and ended up with this result;
This task took me about 15 minutes to complete, which was about the right amount of time to spend on this task I believe. It wasn’t overly challenging, but I did try to pick a task that wouldn’t be too simple to complete. It seems that all of the visual assignments are fairly simple to complete, which is probably why DS106 encourage students to complete at least 10 stars. This task was again a 3 star task, now taking me up to a total of 6 stars. I can’t say that I learnt much from this assignment as it ended up just involving very basic Photoshop skills that I could pick up quite easily, but like a lot of assignments within DS106, it helped bring out some creativity and to put my creativity into practice.
The next task I attempted for the visual assignment is called ‘Blackmail’, which involves taking a photograph of a subject and editing it so it is not recognisable anymore. This means importing the photograph into Photoshop and editing the lighting etc to manipulate it to achieve this effect. DS106 say that if the person you show it to can’t tell what it is, then you have successfully completed the task. I looked around my room and found an owl lantern that I have hanging on my wall. This object is quite interesting and artistic so I decided this would be something good to complete the task with but also simple enough so that the subject alone can be focused on without any other distractions in the background. I then uploaded it onto my mac and imported this into Photoshop. I used the motion blur tool underneath filters to distort the image to help disguise the subject. I then adjusted the saturation by increasing it to completely change the colours. This is how the photograph turned out;
I asked a few of my housemates what they thought the photograph was of, and they couldn’t guess. I didn’t want to manipulate the photograph so much that it was just one massive blur, I still wanted to maintain a bit of detail and shape of the subject within it. Once again, by having quite a lot of experience within photography and Photoshop editing, this task wasn’t too challenging and only took a short amount of time but I really did enjoy this one. The idea of taking a photograph but for the purpose of manipulating it to make something completely different is quite an interesting concept that I enjoyed carrying out. This was a different kind of creativity that I haven’t actually ever tried to do before, all of my photographs and editing I have previously done have been for the purpose to look good, otherwise this was for quite the opposite reasons. What I like about these visual assignments is that they are all completely different so you don’t find yourself repeating similar outcomes. Even though they all involved photography and editing, the purpose is always different. This task was worth 2 stars, now putting me at a total of 8 stars.
For my very last visual assignment I chose a task that involves typing a few words into the Google search engine and choosing a weird sentence that comes from those words and then making an image that represents this. DS106 suggest trying ‘I hate’, or ‘I love’, so I went with ‘I hate it when’. Some very interesting sentences came up and one that really grabbed my attention… ‘I hate it when Jesus rides dinosaurs’. This is a very random sentence that doesn’t really make any sense but as soon as I saw it I knew I could edit a photograph that would symbolise the sentence. So I immediately found some images online and edited them together on Photoshop and ended up with this result;
I simply used the magnetic lasso tool to cut around the shape of figure of Jesus, and dragged it over to the dinosaur image and it went together very easily. I then got a screenshot of the sentence from the Google search engine to place on top so that the image kind of makes sense in some way. Again, this visual assignment is very different to all the other ones I have completed. When I found it I thought it could be a fun and creative one to attempt and that’s exactly what it was! I enjoyed the editing process and also enjoyed the extremely random concept of it. The sentences that come up on Google are all completely different and some are very strange, I picked this particular one because it was just so bizarre but would make an interesting image. This task consisted of 2 and a half stars, making my total 10 and a half stars therefore completing the whole assignment! Overall the assignment was really fun and I enjoyed the huge mixture visual assignments available to complete. It really enabled me to explore more creativity within photo editing and using my imagination to successfully complete them.